Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Personalized Father's Day Gift Under $10: SnapBox Framed Photo

SnapBox turns photos into personalized Father's Day gifts, complete with a frame and ready for gift giving. The SnapBox ( service, from JONDO-USA, enables consumers to transform any photo from their smartphone or computer into a framed work of art. A SnapBox 5x5 stretched gallery-wrapped canvas print starts at less than $10, and shipping is free for home delivery via ground services from now until Father's Day.

"Whether it is a favorite photo of Dad with his kids, or just a photo you'd like to share with Dad, SnapBox makes it easy to create a high quality framed canvas print that makes a perfect Father's Day gift -and that fits into any budget," said John Doe, CEO of JONDO-USA.

The SnapBox print is a unique gallery-wrapped canvas photo, ready for desktop or wall display, complete with a high-quality black wood frame. SnapBox prints can be ordered in just minutes by emailing photos to or uploading them to

Available in five sizes, including 5x5, 5x7, 8x10, 9x9, and10x13 (with the 5x5 and 9x9 square SnapBox prints ideal for Instagram photos), SnapBox prints range in price from $9.97 to $27.74. SnapBox framed prints optimize smartphone photos for the best quality images and are printed on stretched canvas -- a high-quality poly cotton blend made exclusively for JONDO-USA.

To make it even more convenient, SnapBox framed prints can be shipped to Dad, making gift-giving easy. SnapBox orders are completed and delivered in just a few days from one of JONDO's state-of-the-art production facilities in Anaheim, Seattle, or Albany.


With decades of experience in fine art reproduction, proprietary digital workflow, and ongoing investments in lean manufacturing practices, JONDO-USA is a market leader in providing both superior product quality and exceptional price value. JONDO began in 1989 as Harvest Productions, utilizing state of the art IRIS technology to reproduce artists' watercolor paintings. The business grew, based on innovations in print technology, and the company is recognized as an early developer of high resolution input, edit, and output workflows. JONDO-USA is extending its product offerings to consumers with the goal of enhancing the consumer experience through unique and affordable photo d├ęcor products, easy online access, and quick regional manufacturing/fulfillment centers.


Monday, April 15, 2013

East Lyme Garden Club 57th Annual May Mart Plant Sale

The East Lyme Garden Club's 57th annual May Mart Sale will be held Saturday, May 11. It will again be held at the East Lyme Town Hall Pavilion on Pennslyvania Avenue, Niantic, from 8:00 a.m to 11:30 a.m., rain or shine.

Member perennials will include echinacea, columbine, ornamental grasses, campanula, Siberian Iris, lupine, Shasta Daisy, bleeding heart, peonies, Hosta "Royal Standard" and "minute man", Lambs ear, Ferns, Coreopsis, Lemon Thyme, coral bells and hops vine. Shrubs and trees include Kousa dogwood, lilac, weigelia, butterfly bush, cotoneaster and leucothoe.

The club will again offer patio tomatoes, vegetables and herbs for sale. A huge variety of annual flowers as well as herbs. Beautiful hanging baskets in a variety of sizes and choices in time for Mother's Day gifts.

Proceeds from this annual sale enable the East Lyme Garden Club to maintain the beautiful garden in front of the library and behind the senior center. The club also provides three $1000. dollar annual scholarships to graduating East Lyme High School seniors. In addition the members make festive floral arrangements for "Meals on Wheels" trays that are distributed twice a year - in May and again in December.

The clube hosts several educational programs during the year at meetings held on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m., at the Police Station in downtown Niantic. New members are always welcome. Contact the club at for more informtion.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ignatian spirituality may guide Pope Francis

As the first Jesuit Pope, Pope Francis’ Ignatian spirituality can help him discern God’s will and reveal the Gospel in a new way, says fellow Jesuit Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, in Ottawa.

“He, in a way, embodies the best of what our tradition is about,” he said.

The spiritual disciplines of the Society of Jesus’ founder St. Ignatius of Loyola helps one determine “what God is calling me to do in this particular circumstance at this particular time,” said Archbishop Prendergast.

“As a Society, we need to let the Holy Spirit guide us in a way that is unique to each one of us,” he said. Though Ignatius might not have used the same terms, the archbishop said, “the way God speaks to me is unique to me, as distinct as my fingerprints, my DNA, and the iris of my eyes.”

When Pope Francis was Jesuit provincial in Argentina during the 1970s, he insisted on Ignatian spirituality as opposed to the popular Liberation Theology that sees the Gospel through a Marxist lens. Jesuits have been on the forefront of Liberation Theology in South America.

Prendergast said it is natural for Jesuits to be concerned about the plight of the poor. “Social inequalities had to be addressed” in South America, and “Jesuits went there to use their intellect and their passion for the poor to bring that passion together with the Gospel.”

He pointed out how Pope John Paul II referred to America as one continent including both North and South, “a way of saying the rich North must be responsible for the needs of the poorer South.” But at the same time, both John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI were critical of Liberation Theology, he noted.

“Some can emphasize social justice to the point that they lose their faith,” said Archbishop Prendergast. Others can stress the faith so much they do nothing for the poor, he added.

The approach then Father Jorge Bergoglio would have taken is “to always keep the love of the poor coupled with the Gospel,” and not go to Marxism, “which sets up class warfare,” and “division, not what the Gospel calls for.”

“He insisted everything must be aligned with what the Gospel says,” Archbishop Prendergast said. Jesuits were interested in how far they could go if they were really concerned about the poor.

During the 1970s, Argentina was in the midst of its so-called “dirty war” in which a repressive military regime cracked down on leftists, including many priests who were working with the poor. There have been accusations Father Bergoglio did not do enough to speak out against the regime, or worse, that he may have betrayed some of his priests. Archbishop Prendergast said as Jesuit provincial Father Bergoglio “there may have been some conflict on where people would work in the social justice arena.”

This would have involved a rethinking of the Jesuit charism to prevent the promotion of social justice to the extreme or the promotion of faith to the extreme, he said. “He insisted Marxism was not compatible with the service of faith. Faith and justice go together.”

“He was probably caught at that particular time,” he said. “He probably really tried to listen to them.”

The archbishop admitted Jesuits often come up for criticism. Pope Clement XIV even suppressed the Society from 1773 to 1814, prompting one cardinal to joke to Pope Francis he should take the name Clement XV to get revenge.

When Cardinal Bergoglio stepped out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, Archbishop Prendergast was in Toronto with a group of young Jesuits. He was “surprised,” and “stunned.”

“That the cardinals would have chosen one of us—we were speechless,” he said.

“Jesuits are called to be on the cutting edge between faith and unbelief,” Archbishop Prendergast said, noting the role Jesuits have played in science, in running universities, in running the Vatican Observatory and so on. “When you are on the cutting edge, some people think you go too far and others think you don’t go far enough.”

The archbishop sees Pope Francis as neither a conservative nor a progressive. All bishops must be conservative in the sense that they preserve the Gospel, but while preserving the teaching they must find innovative ways to “present it in a way that meets the needs of the people today.

One way the new Pope showed a spirit of innovation as Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires was in how he invited poor families to baptize their children. Cardinal Bergoglio noticed many families were not bringing their babies in to be baptized because they could not afford to throw a big party as Argentinian society expected, Archbishop Prendergast said. So, Bergoglio had the church throw the party so the baptisms could take place and the families would experience no shame.

Every person chosen to be Pope “will be conservative and innovative,” he said.

Among the disciplines of Ignatian spirituality is to do an examination of conscience twice a day, to get a sense of one’s faults and failures and to “acknowledge where the Lord has been present, where I have acknowledged Him and where I have failed to see Him,” Archbishop Prendergast said.

There are particular examinations when one is trying to correct a fault or work on developing a virtue. “Somebody who is proud might do humble things; someone who is a doormat might work on becoming assertive,” he said.

The goal of the disciplines is “to find equilibrium and balance,” Archbishop Prendergast said. “When I am in balance, I can see the movement of spirit and discern whether it is from God or from the enemy of our nature, what Ignatius would call the devil.”

“Ignatius himself would try to find God in all things, to find God in the present moment and respond,” he said.

Some of the gestures of humility—like Pope Francis’ decision to wear the simple white cassock without the ermine-lined red cape, paying his own hotel bill, and the simple pectoral cross he wore as a bishop and not the pontifical cross offered him may be signs of the different way he hears God’s message and how he wants to proclaim it, Archbishop Prendergast said. “How successful he will be will depend on his stamina and his stick-to-itiveness.”

His riding on the subways in Buenos Aires and living in a simple apartment may also have been decisions made at a certain stage out of his Jesuit spirituality, he said.

One makes decisions and continues to live out of them or one might examine them later one and ask “has my living arrangement helped me to grow,” Archbishop Prendergast said.

While Pope Francis’ humility has been a focus of media attention, some reports have also drawn attention to what has been described as his strict demand for obedience as Jesuit provincial.

Archbishop Prendergast explained how the Jesuit vow of obedience can be misunderstood. “What I understand about (Pope Francis) is that he’s a listener. That’s what a provincial is called to do,” he said.

The obedience called for is not a “blind obedience” but an interplay of discernment between the superior and the priests, he said. “It’s only at the end of the process where I person says, ‘I don’t want to do that;' and the provincial says, ‘Well, that’s what I think God wants you to do,'” that “Jesuit obedience” means “in the end, I do what I’m told.”

But the process can take a long time, he said. A provincial needs to listen well to know the thoughts, desires, faults, illnesses, and gifts of those under him to “assign them to the best use of their talents for the Kingdom of God and society,” Archbishop Prendergast said. A provincial might make a proposal to a priest and find the reaction is, “Oh, no, that would kill me!”

“You place yourself in the position of trusting your superior, but he needs to hear you,” said Archbishop Prendergast.

So far he has not heard his fellow Jesuits react negatively to the appointment of Pope Francis.

Though the Jesuits are called the Society of Jesus in English, he likes the French and Spanish terms that mean Company or Companions of Jesus, the “band of brothers, the people who share bread together, who share their life together and come out from a common base to serve the world.”

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fingleton used special account for politically sensitive loans

Irish Nationwide had a special bank account called the 'No. 3 account' which was used to immediately disburse funds when required for sensitive situations.

The account was jointly controlled by Michael Fingleton, the building society's boss, and just one other member of staff between 2002 and 2008. It could make payments without formal limits and was used for purposes including granting loans to politically sensitive figures or for the settlement of disputes.

The existence of this unorthodox bank account was one of many unusual practices identified by forensic accountants from Ernst & Young, who were asked to trawl through the society by the State, post the bank guarantee.

Ernst & Young also identified issues relating to individual borrowers that it considered unusual, including loans to some of the society's biggest borrowers.

These and many other issues are revealed in a new book called Fingers, by Tom Lyons and Richard Curran, which is to be published by Gill & McMillan next week.

This book identifies a range of unusual deals, including a payment of €435,000 to a firm which the society's records say has an address on Madison Avenue, New York.

Ernst & Young was unable to find any evidence of this company at that address and concludes that the beneficiary of this payment is a Luxembourg bank account.

It also identifies multimillion sums being paid out for "consultancy services" to entities related to some of the society's borrowers. It also lists a range of other payments sanctioned by Fingleton that Ernst & Young found required further questioning.

The book reports on other shortcomings of the society, identified in April 2009 by consultants Deloitte. These include the fact that not all commercial loans were subject to review by the credit risk department; adherence to the credit committee's terms of reference were not always met and the society stopped producing quarterly reporting packs on credit-risk management in September 2007.

Monday, January 14, 2013

CDC: Quick Health and Safety Tips For Families

The following text was compiled from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tip sheets:

"Being healthy and safe takes commitment, but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming," says the CDC. "Most things are so simple and take so little time, that you’ll wonder why you’ve been avoiding them."

According to the CDC, we have 1,440 minutes in the day. Here are some quick tips that will only take away 1 to 5 of those minutes:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pakistan should legitimize Kashmiris as third party

Stating that there is a notion across the world that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Tuesday said the amalgam will urge Pakistan for “legal sanctity” for role of Kashmiris’ as a third party in the settlement of Kashmir issue so that it is recognized as a tripartite issue at the global level.

Addressing the second phase of the feedback session with civil society members of Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts at Hurriyat headquarters here, Mirwaiz said that ahead of their Pakistan visit, the Hurriyat leadership  wanted to listen to intellectuals, traders, civil society activists and other sections of the society so that constructive suggestions could crop up.

“These suggestions will help us frame good policies,” the Hurriyat (M) Chairman said at the outset of the session. “Keeping in view the situation at the world level and at the sub-continental level, an impression continues to remain in place that Kashmir is a bilateral issue. This is happening despite the fact that Kashmiris have offered countless sacrifices,” Mirwaiz said. “We have been of the belief that Kashmir is a tripartite issue with people of Kashmir as its real stakeholders. But the fact remains that there is no legal sanctity to the people being the main party to the issue.”

The Hurriyat (M) Chairman said the amalgam will work out a “legal sanctity” with the Pakistan leadership so that the notion of Kashmir being a bilateral issue ends. “The move will also help give Kashmiri people a right to speak and also project Kashmir as a tripartite issue,” he said.

He said Kashmir issue has many dimensions like social, economic and political. “Besides talking about the resolution of Kashmir issue, we need to talk about the plundering of our water resources, power and other things,” Mirwaiz said. He also said it was not like that the Hurriyat (M) leadership would bring resolution from Pakistan. “But a beginning is must. Many confusions will get cleared during our visit,” he said.

During the feedback session, many participants highlighted the historic perspective of the Kashmir issue as to how the erstwhile princely State of Jammu and Kashmir was sold by the British ‘and then by Maharaja Hari Singh.’ “This State had been sold for peanuts first and then through accords. We must see where do we stand and where we have to go,” said a participant from Kupwara district. “Hurriyat must devise a strategy to clear the confusion. We as a nation are totally confused as to where from we have to start. We have offered priceless sacrifices over the past 65 years. There is a need for a vision and direction,” he said.

Another elderly participant from the apple town of Sopore said Pakistan had been claiming Kashmir as its “jugular vein” and at the same time India maintains “Kashmir is its integral part.” “The fact remains that Kashmir remains sandwiched between the two countries. But we haven’t lost hope and believe a day will come soon when we will achieve our goal,” he said.

Many young participants stressed that Hurriyat leadership should keep the sacrifices of people in mind before meeting the Pakistan leadership.

“Keep in mind that our daughters and mothers lost chastity for Kashmir solution. Our youth spilled hot blood for the cause,” said a youth from Baramulla. He was seconded by another from Sopore, who further added, “Hurriyat leaders should seek suggestions and advice from the family members of martyrs as well before leaving for Pakistan.”

Mirwaiz welcomed the suggestions put forth by the participants and said the feedback sessions would continue and the next meeting will be held with the people from South Kashmir. Many senior Hurriyat (M) leaders were present in the session which included Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone, Shahid-ul-Islam, Syed Saleem Geelani and Zaffar Akbar Bhat.